7 Votes


Hits: 4463
Comments: 11
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.8571
Condition: Normal
ID: 4526


November 19, 2007, 5:34 am

Vote Hall of Honour

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status


The Strange Ship


A foreign ship drifts into the harbor.

During the night a foreign ship, The Merriwell, battered and weather torn, sailed up to the town docks. It just sat there in the harbor, and hails from the harbor master and the watch produced no results. A small detachment of watchmen and a pilot was sent to investigate, but the ship proved to have been abandoned.

The first possible scenario

The crew of the Merriwell were attacked by river-pirates and marauding mercenaries, a few miles outside of town. A single crew member, a young deck’s boy named Trond survived (he hid during the fight), and managed to loosen the ship as the pirates were taking a break, and steer it towards the town despite the heavy winds and rain during the night. Just outside of town he was hit by the ships rudder, knocked overboard unconscious. When found he might be able to give valuable information about the pirates that will make tracking them easier. By the way, the Merriwell was carrying a shipment of Weapons and supplies for the Imperial Garrison in town, all of which were carried off by the pirates. Should they get their hands on a sizable amount of weapons, these pirates could become a great threat to the people of the region. The major is digging deep into his treasure chest to finance a search and destroy mission - making offers that adventurers like the PCs can’t refuse.

The second scenario

The ship was hired by an explorer charged with mapping and investigating the remoter branches of the river. He left several weeks ago, together with a hardy ship crew of rivermen and sailors and was not expected to return for several weeks hence. The following night, it is discovered that the ship is still inhabited, sort of, as a handful of dead spectral crewmen haunts the ship from sundown to sunrise. Every sundown they go busily to work readying the Merriwell for sailing, somehow managing to always find the materials and tools needed, after all such tools were stripped from the ship by the harbormaster. When the ship is ready, the ghostly crewmen simply sit down waiting, tying knots and maintaining the vessel. Come sunrise, they rig down the ship and vanish. They seem to be ready to take the ship somewhere, but perhaps they need additional crew? (Should no crew volunteer, the ghosts will soon visit the shanty bars by the docs, having spectral drinks they bring themselves, and silently checking out the guests). At this point the PC’s should be forced to act.

The third scenario

A single body, that of the captain, was found tied on the ship’s helm the captain’s log is recovered and tells of strange events that had taken place during the ship’s journey. These events led to the gradual disappearance of the entire crew apparently owing to a malevolent presence on board of the ill-fated ship. An animal described as a large dog is seen on the ship and leaping ashore. The ship’s cargo is described as silver-sand and boxes of ‘mould’ or earth from a haunted island.

This is an experiment in designing adventures in a format similar to that of the short "Tales of Terror" plots that have been used in horror-themed games. In this format, a short adventure setup is followed by three different explanations, each leading in a different direction. If enough of these are collected, a Tales of Adventure Codex will be assembled.

Those interested in seeing the original "Tales of Terror" using this format may wish to go to Steve Hatherley’s website:

Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Join Now!!

Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
November 6, 2007, 13:54
I like this.
Voted Dragonlordmax
November 6, 2007, 21:58
The Good: I like all three ideas, and I could definately imagine using this scenario in a campaign - I particularly like the latter two suggestions.

The Bad: It's kind of like eating just one potato chip - it's good, but one of the main results of that goodness is that I really, really want more. I suppose I'd like to see just a bit more detail.

The Ugly: That one extra quotation mark under the third scenario (actually, it's not important, but I couldn't stop with just the Good and the Bad).
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 7, 2007, 8:00
I see your potato point, but the what the whole bag of chips is going to taste, and look like is up to the GM. This submission's intention is to be that one inspiring chip,.. or something;)
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 7, 2007, 8:14
Removed the quotation mark, thanks for pointing it out, and commenting.
Voted Scrasamax
November 7, 2007, 3:42
Personally I would run with the second scenario, it has a touch of sadness to it.
Voted valadaar
November 7, 2007, 9:38
Not bad!

I have a related sub - Tales of the Phantom Ship that could easily have this one added to it.
Voted manfred
November 7, 2007, 13:47
The brief plots have a charm of their own... in this case, I also favor the second option.
Barbarian Horde
November 7, 2007, 18:05
That third option reminds me of Dracula for some reason. I think there might be a few similarities there, but it's been a while since I read the book.
November 8, 2007, 14:52
Yes, exactly what I thought. The ship, the cargo, and the crew are all a Bram Stoker classic, and a great way to introduce a powerful vampire (or something else for a nasty surprise).
Voted axlerowes
February 23, 2012, 17:16

The third option is Dracula.

I like the second option, the ghosts could actually provide much of the information that the cabin boy provides in option 1 but as Scras says it has that touch of saddness that makes it special. 

Voted MysticMoon
March 15, 2012, 21:37

A very intriguing set of ideas. In the second scenario it would be interesting to have the spectres appear solid. Imagine agreeing to a job and showing up the next day to a ghost ship.

Link Backs

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Dwarves of the Walrus Totem

       By: Murometz

Far to the north amidst the endless ice-flows it is rumored that a dwarven Walrus Totem clan exists. These rumors have been unsubstantiated to date, unless the dwarven sage Glurt Goblinguts is to be believed. He claims to once having encountered a troupe of huge dwarves, each standing a beard’s length higher than the tallest known dwarf. These dwarven “giants”, their hairy chins crusted with frozen shards of ice and dirt, hauled gargantuan yellowed horns or tusks upon their wide shoulders, and their helms, likewise, sported massive, down-ward pointing tusk-horns. Glurt Goblinguts later speculated that the impressive size of these dwarves was most likely due to their arctic diets, almost exclusively fat-based.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | September 26, 2012 | View | UpVote 5xp

Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.